Thursday, August 16, 2012

You Can't Spell Geek without EE

B-?! You have GOT to be kidding me! I need a B to get credit for this class. Was B- even an option?!?! I have to retake this class???  ARRRRRRGH!

And then I woke up.

I guess you could say I was stressed about this class. I have no idea why. I mean, well, yeah, it was a hard class. I spent a ridiculous amount of time studying. It had been over 15 years since I had done a Fourier or Laplace Transform. It was also the last required core course for my PhD. After drinking 4 years of math through a fire hose for my undergrad in electrical engineering, I was pretty much over it. I loved math in high school.  Now, not so much.
The night before this B- nightmare, I had taken the 3rd exam for Linear Signals and Systems. The professor presented the class with a nice little carrot: if you had an A or B after the first 3 exams, you didn't have to take the final unless you wanted to do so. I was 100% certain I would be taking the final. I jumped out of bed and got online to see my grade. I was praying for a B because that guaranteed I would never have to take this class again. I had made a promise to myself that I would give it my best and turn the rest of over to God. That meant if I had a B going into the final, I would spend the next two days studying for a shot at an A and be okay no matter the outcome. I had  just spent the entire weekend and then some studying for the third exam. Motivation was going to be hard to find. Before the summer quarter even began, I had bought the book and managed to make it through the first 3 chapters. I knew relearning calculus while working full time during a compressed quarter and trying to get in some running would be next to impossible. 

I opened the grade report. I blinked. I looked again. And again. How in the world? Next to my number, it said A. I looked again. Really? I don't have to spend the next two days studying? I began to feel a huge sense of relief. Is that a tear?! Yes, yes it was. I felt as if I had been given one of the best gifts ever. Five minutes before, I was trying to prepare myself for two more days of intense studying and suddenly I was free.

I had made an A by exactly .7%. Just barely. 

Had I worked hard enough to earn an A? Yes, I believe I did. I gave it my best shot and invested a lot of time and effort. Did I deserve an A? Based on my performance on the tests and the overall class grade curve, I cannot honestly say I deserved it. Luckily God's grace has nothing to do with what we deserve. 

A grade in a math class is such a small thing, but it was something that was important to me. Having two less days of stress meant a lot to me, and I am very thankful! If God cares about the little things, he certainly cares about the things that matter most.

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2: 8-10

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